Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wednesday Workout - Cheap Therapy

I LOVE the dollar aisle at Target. They always have the neatest things - from chip bowls, to cute holiday platters, to THERAPY toys! All typically TWO BUCKS or less.


I picked up these foam shaped blocks for a dollar a couple weeks ago. They have become Aiden's favorite thing to do and we have spent countless hours of therapy play time with them.

Here are some language goals that we're currently working on with Aiden:
  • Use of pronouns
  • Understand quantitative concepts of some, rest, all
  • Answers what and where questions.
  • Understands questions with post-noun elaboration (white kitten that is sleeping)
  • Understands spatial concepts of next to, in front of, in back of
  • Identifies advanced body parts such as forehead, wrist, eyelashes
and some auditory goals:
  • Recall four critical elements in a message
  • Sequence a series of multi-element directions
In addition to these, there's also OT, speech goals, speech babble, cognitive etc to think about. The more you can do to incorporate all into one lesson, the better ... and these $1 foam blocks, did just that!

Aiden creating his own pattern
  • Pronouns - emphasized use of me, I, mine, my, you, and your(s) throughout playtime (Aiden refers to himself as "Aiden" instead of me or mine).
  • Sentence expansion - As we played, I would put four or five blocks aside. Since Aiden mainly speaks in two-three word sentences, I always expand it to four or five words, with emphasis on the extra word I include. He seems to imitate better if I have something he can "touch" for each word said. For example, "I have ALL squares." and I would touch one block for each word spoken, then he would do the same describing what he had. I've also used scraps of paper or pennies for this too.
  • Syllable work aka speech babble. This really helps with his articulation and expanding sentences. Right now we're working on simple speech babble up to four syllables (again, by touching each block, helps him get the four syllables out instead of stopping at two or three: ba-ba-ba-ba, bo-bo-bo-bo, be-be-be-be, ba-bo-ba-bo etc). This is very helpful with his speech motor planning and oral motor skills.
  • Auditory memory - build a tower, as instructed by mom ("...two circles, two orange squares, then a green star on top"), then BLOW it down - (good for oral motor and breath control)
  • PATTERNS! I would create a row of blocks and as I made it, I'd say, "orange square, blue circle, orange square, blue circle". Before I knew it, he was making patterns with three-four elements all on his own, and would say, "orange square, blue square, circle, star, orange square, blue square, circle, star ...". Also good to throw in sequencing words first, next, and last.
  • Counting and math - answering the question "how many ...", but they weren't just simple how many questions, but more like, "how many green stars and orange squares do you have ALL TOGETHER?"
  • Quantifiers (some, rest of, all, etc) - "Give me ALL of the squares." OR "Pick up the rest of the stars."
  • Body parts - "Touch the orange square to your forehead", "Put the red heart on your wrist." etc
  • Adjective comparisons - tall, taller, tallest, short, shorter, shortest, long, longer, longest etc. by building towers and "trains".
  • Prepositions - build a house or tower then instruct, "put the orange square in front/in back of the house/tower" (other words used, behind, next to, on top of, on the bottom, in the middle, underneath
  • The NOT word - "Give me all the blocks that are NOT squares." At first, he'd hand me all the squares. By the end of our first play session, he would hold up a shape and say, "NOT a (square/circle etc) and would gleam with pride!
ALL FOR A BUCK.

7 comments:

leah said...

Wow, those are GREAT ideas!! I love the idea of building towers with the blocks to recall 4 critical elements in a message. We have some little wooden blocks - I'll have to try that one at our house!

You are such a great mom - and creative, too!!!

Kat said...

See, this is why we need to start our own school! You are always full of creative ideas to promote language. Hugs and love!

Lone Star Family said...

we bought those foam shapes a target too, and Kemper loves them. Thanks for the extra ideas using them!

Danielle said...

wow YOU ARE AMAZINGGGGGGG!!!! This is such a great idea. so glad he is doing well :) lots of hugs

Julia said...

Wow, so creative! It's amazing what you can squeeze out of one set of blocks. Now you've got me brainstorming about foam blocks.

Emily said...

I also LOVE the dollar bins at Target! We bought some great flash cards there a while back. I'll have to look for those foam shapes! Thanks for posting this - it's so helpful to read about what you do with Aiden and it gives me ideas for Sophie as she gets older. You are such a great mommy and teacher! :)

Emily

Amy said...

Thanks for some fantastic ideas Tammy! You could put any kindergarten teacher to shame. Our TOD frequently picks up stuff from the Dollar Store to work on with Ava. They have the best stuff there. Ava also frequently says "Ava" instead of I or my. Now you've given me some great ideas on how to emphasize the first person with her.